It’s official: 2024 is the year of peach fuzz. This is stated by the team of forecasters at the Pantone Color Institute, who have chosen this soft and orange pink tone as Color of the Year. The tone “echoes our innate longing for closeness and connection” and is “radiant with warmth and modern elegance,” said the institute’s executive director, Leatrice Eiseman. said in a statement.
It is a color reminiscent of sunrise or a nice summer day, says Lauren Labrecque, a marketing researcher specializing in color at the University of Rhode Island. While she’s not always a fan of Pantone’s options, like 2021’s gray and yellow pair, she loves this year’s “soft, warm and fuzzy” selection.
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“This one in particular seemed right to me,” says Labrecque, adding that after years of conflict, crisis and economic struggle, there is a longing in the air for something comforting and warm. This year’s softly bright hue, he says, “kind of captures the zeitgeist: moving forward, hopefully focusing more on positivity and warmth.”
Following Pantone’s annual announcement, designers and marketers in industries such as fashion and web design will often incorporate the color into their products. Although it’s difficult to distinguish whether Pantone is setting the trend or responding to those already on the move, Labrecque says it’s probably a little of both.
This year’s choice isn’t entirely pastel, but it’s lighter than last year’s bold, saturated hue. Long Live Magentaand a small inversion of the rich blue-violet hue of 2022, very peri. “A lot of it has to do with what people crave,” says Elizabeth Johnson, a neuroscientist who has studied the visual color system and teaches marketing at the University of Pennsylvania. Peach Fuzz “seems a little nostalgic to me,” she says, “like a nod to the makeup (packaging) of the ’40s and ’50s.”
If this color feels nostalgic, confusing, or comforting, it’s probably a learned association, Johnson explains. Very little about color is hardwired into our brains. We know that the human visual system is especially sensitive to greens and very attentive to reds. But beyond that, any aesthetic associations with colors are likely to have been acquired through experience and culture.
Peach Fuzz-like colors are found throughout the natural world, from land to sea to space; We have compiled a series of images featuring captivating color.
Lake Tyrrell, the largest salt lake in the Australian state of Victoria, spends most of the year as a dry salt flat. Photographed here with a drone at dawn, the lake bed gets its pink color from microalgae that produce pink compounds called carotenoids as a response to stress in brackish environments.
The salmon-crested cockatoo, native to Indonesia, is commonly bred in captivity around the world. When excited, curious, or fearful, these birds raise their crest to reveal a vivid tuft of salmon-colored feathers.
The Crab Nebula houses the remains of a star that went supernova. That explosion, which was briefly visible from Earth in 1054 CE, left behind a neutron star, along with a lot of gas and dust. The nebula appears here in infrared light thanks to the James Webb Space Telescope. Orange represents filaments of doubly ionized sulfur gas; the yellowish-white ridges contain dust particles.
The pink skunk clownfish gets its name from the distinctive white stripes on the upper part of its body. These fish (like the ones above, which were photographed near Thailand’s Similan Islands), have a symbiotic relationship with their host anemone and are immune to its stinging defenses.
First cultivated in eastern China thousands of years ago, peaches get their characteristic “fuzz” from small hair-like structures called trichomes that protect the fruit from ultraviolet radiation and pathogens.
The towering, twisting walls of Hasdez twazi’, or Lower Antelope Canyon, were carved by flash floods. Located on the Navajo Nation near Page, Arizona, the slot canyon’s warm colors come from iron oxide or rust in the sandstone.
A half-mile-high dust devil sweeps across the surface of Mars in this photograph taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in 2012. Like Hasdez’s ‘twazi,’ Mars’ distinctive reddish-tinged dirt comes from particles rusty iron.
Forest fires devastated Colombia in January and covered the capital, Bogotá, in smoke. Extreme heat and drought attributed to climate change, along with this year’s El Niño weather pattern, have sparked hundreds of wildfires prompting the government to declare a state of emergency.
Red foxes, found in Asia, Europe, Africa and North America, are born with light-colored eyes and dark gray fur. These features transform into the animals’ distinctive amber eyes and pale orange coat at around one month of age.
The Kerlingarfjöll volcanic mountain range, located in the Icelandic highlands, is known for its colorful landscapes formed by a volcanic rock called rhyolite. The silica-rich lavas that built up this area were so viscous that they left steep-sided “lava domes.”